Elderflower Jelly with Berries and Mint

Gorgeous to look at, even better to eat! The elderflower gives a sophisticated flavour that’s not overpowering, and the fruits look like little jewels in the individual serving glasses. Impress family or friends – or save them all for yourself (they keep for four days in the fridge!). If you are happy using sweeteners, then you can get a much lower calorie count. I’ve tried these with three different kinds of sweetener – Splenda, xylitol and a stevia-based baking blend. All gave excellent results. In all cases, follow the instructions on the pack as the quantities are different to sugar. Splenda, for example, substitutes volume but not weight, as it weighs very little.

Serves 4

Calories per serving: 106 made with sugar, 40+ made with sweetener

Preparation time: 10 minutes, plus chilling

Cooking time 5 minutes

5 leaves gelatin, 15 cals

75g caster sugar 297 cals or equivalent sweeteners (for example, 5 tablespoons of Splenda, 30 cals, or granular stevia-based sweetener, 75 cals)

3 tbsp elderflower cordial 46 cals

150g mixed raspberries and blueberries, plus extra for serving 65 cals

small bunch fresh mint leaves

  1. Soak the gelatin leaves in cold water until soft. Place the sugar in a small saucepan with 300ml water and heat over a low heat until the sugar has dissolved. Remove from the heat. Squeeze out the excess water from the gelatin, add to the hot sugar water and stir until melted. Add the cordial and stir well.
  2. Place a small handful of fruit and mint leaves in the bottom of 4 glasses (the tips of the mint are very pretty here), add a little of the jelly mixture and chill in the fridge for 2 hours.  Set the remaining jelly aside covered with cling film but not in the fridge. If it isn’t in the fridge then it should not set.
  3. Once set, divide the rest of the jelly mix between the glasses and chill until set. Serve with extra berries and mint on the side.

NB: You can cut the chilling time down if, like me, you’re not a perfectionist and don’t mind some of the fruit floating nearer the top. Just divide all the jelly between the glasses on top of the fruit and chill for 2 hours. N.B. Gelatin is not suitable for vegetarians but you can use seaweed-based agar-agar: make sure you follow the instructions as it works differently.

Variations: Other cordials and fruit pieces will also work well. I love the Belvoir Apple and Ginger (with very slim wedges of apple and a few blackcurrants or berries), or their Raspberry and Rose drink (use rose petals from your garden as garnish, if you haven’t used pesticides). Or try Bottlegreen’s Lime and Coconut with slices of kiwi. It’s such an adaptable recipe! Do check the calories, as fruits and cordials can vary.